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The 4 Keys to an Extraordinary Life

Oh, I am so deeply filled, thrilled and inspired. I just got back from an incredible week-long retreat with my advanced students in the Creation Course. It was so moving for me to take a wholehearted dive with this extraordinary group of women. It’s what I live for. Truly.  

On the heels of all that passion and power, I want to take you deeper and wider than we have ever gone before, here on the blog. 

In fact, this month I’ve got a treat for you. I’m writing a special 4-part weekly series starting today, on the four keys to creating the freedom to live the incredible, inspiring, passionate, lit up life you want and deserve.  

A life where you feel utterly and completely yourself, no holds barred. Where you are as comfortable with your deepest dark emotions as you are with your light. Unafraid of your truth – able to say ‘no’ with as much power and delight as you say ‘yes’. Where you are comfortable and at ease with your sensuality. And enthusiasm is present in everything you do. With an extraordinary group of women who have your back, and you have theirs.  

The idea for this series came to me as I pondered one of the most common questions I’m asked … “What’s this School really all about? I just don’t get it.”

In a world that devalues women at work, at home, and in relationship, the School of Womanly Arts is about giving women the support and the tools that we need to connect with our innate enthusiasm, in order to be, do, and have anything and everything we want – in this short, brief, sacred life.

Each of the four topics that I am about to share over the next few weeks is a key to unlock a divine inner door. 

Each one alone is crucial, and many-layered, but all together they combine to unleash your distinct magic.  

You will find a sense of freedom and power begin to seep into your system after reading this first piece, more after the second, and at an even more profound level after the third and fourth.  

Especially if you do the small exercises following each blog, and post your responses in the comments. 

And, if you want to climb to even more unimaginable heights, come to The Experience – our live intro weekend on Dec 2nd & 3rd in NYC – and work with me, live. These concepts are game-changing on the page – but even more profound when you can actually feel and embody them. The Experience is my gift to the community, and the absolute best way to feel first-hand what this work is all about. All the details are here if you want to find out more.

So, what are these four keys I’ll be writing about? 

1 – Feeling, honoring and getting straight with all of your emotions (dark ones included)
2 – Inhabiting and experiencing through your body (not your head)
3 – Reclaiming your relationship with your turn-on and sensual power (your life force!)
4 – Leaning into and being supported by Sisterhood through it all.  

For today’s topic, I want to talk about something that silently impacts every woman’s life. 

Chances are, at some point, if you are like me, you have felt emotionally congested and shut down – as if the world can’t handle you, and everything you actually feel. As if your deepest truth had no place in the world. 

When you are a woman with big dreams and big responsibilities to your work, your home, your family – being shut down stifles your creative flow on both the inner and the outer.  

Women need to feel free in order to flow and live our best lives. 
And we can – and must – find that freedom from within. 

Our creativity and power come when we are feeling and living every drop of the women we are.

Yet, we have been trained, taught, and conditioned to turn down the volume and velocity of our emotions and our emotional responses.  

When was the last time you had a big, loud, righteous cry? And allowed yourself the soothing arms of compassion from someone who feels for you?  

Yes. You deserve that and more. We all do.  
But who amongst us hasn’t been told (or told ourselves) that we feel too much. That we are too much. That we should just be “fine”. 

When we do feel something deeply…poof!…we think something is desperately wrong with us. Our balance is gone. We are lost to the abyss of wrongness.

In fact, for most women, our highest goal for ourselves is “fine”. We think we would be better off with a plain vanilla emotional life. But there is nothing plain and nothing vanilla about a woman.

When we are taught to disconnect from our feelings, we feel just that: Disconnected.

Disconnected from ourselves, disconnected from life itself.

And when we practice disconnection successfully for 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years, then we can’t even find the outlet, much less the plug. And the whole world loses its color and just becomes a mass of depressing grey.

We are encouraged and taught to restrict our true feelings to conform to a culture that does not understand, appreciate, or acknowledge the ever-changing, ever-unfolding inner life of an emotionally healthy woman.

And by doing so, we restrict ourselves.

When we tourniquet our truth, we cut ourselves out of the love we long for, the intimacy we crave, and our own innate sense of rightness with ourselves.

The truth is, most of us have no idea how to navigate our brilliant, beautiful, important, and dazzlingly perfect emotions.

Life is only wonderful when we are having the chance to live full throttle. To play all 88 keys on our piano, not just Middle C, over and over again.

And no one tells us that! We are told that we are supposed to be sugar and spice and everything nice. We are told to stuff the deep, dark emotions inside. We are never supposed to be angry or jealous or flat out enraged.

Why would we have all these emotions if we weren’t supposed to feel them?

Think about a toddler. In the expanse of a minute, she can go from gales of laughter to collapsed in tears, and then back to giggles again.

And we have been taught, over and over again, to keep a lid on it, stifle it, hold it back, and hold it in. 

In so doing, we lose so much of our native enthusiasm and life force, that we end up keeping a lid on our vitality for the work we do, or the people we date, or the way we truly feel.

When we aren’t connected to the way we truly feel, our decisions lead to compromise. 
If we are taught to suppress ourselves, how will we ever be able to communicate our satisfaction or dissatisfaction in the world?

How will we ever be able to live our truth?

No wonder there is an epidemic of dissatisfaction and a crisis of confidence amongst women.

In the world of the feminine, everything you feel is right, perfect, beautiful, changeable.

Like the wondrously variable weather, the emotional variety of a woman is glorious.

You feel. Exactly what you feel.

The feeling part is the best part of each of us.

Our feelings connect us to ourselves, and one another. Our feelings connect us to our joy. Or to our unbearable sorrow. Our feelings are sacred. They connect us to every animal, every blade of grass, the changing leaves, every human being.

When we risk feeling, there is a very deep body sensation of being absolutely grounded, plugged in, a vessel for divinity.

This week, I invite you to start exploring this in three ways:

1) First, examine and acknowledge just how stuffed down your feelings and emotions are currently. Where have you noticed your emotional truth has been made wrong, excluded, disenfranchised, or made suspect? Who/what is making it that way (it could be someone else, or yourself)? Take some time to inventory your current relationship with your feelings – how free are you? 

2) Second, begin to give yourself permission to feel, to truly feel your feelings. (Heads up: This is hard to do alone – you are a fish swimming upstream in this culture, which is why later in this email series I’ll be talking about how to cultivate and make use of Sisterhood. Women need women to witness and be witnessed. But, here is one thing you can do on your own.) For 24 hours, keep a journal, where every hour you jot down your feelings, just like this:

10am: I feel bored, and that is a right way to feel.
11am: I feel frustrated with my boss, and that is a right way to feel.
12pm: I feel jealous of my co-worker, and that is a right way to feel.
Since we normally find our negative feelings wrong, instead of right, this exercise will give you a beautiful sense of space and ground.

3.) Share your insights in the comments below:
• What have you noticed about the ways we have each been taught to be emotionally disconnected from our truth?
•  How has this disconnection gotten you into trouble?
•  How has connecting to your truth helped you?
•  What are ways that you have observed women experiencing their disconnection in a global way?

Next week, we’re going to take this a step further. A huge step further. In fact, without this next key, you won’t get very far with channeling your emotions in the direction of your dreams. 

Here’s to you, and every drop of your emotional truth.
See you next week,

Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts

PS. Have you registered for The Experience, our intro weekend, on December 2nd & 3rd in NYC? We’ll be diving way deeper into your emotional truth and so much more – through embodied exercises and tools you’ll use for a lifetime. This event is my gift to the community, and it’s the absolute best way to feel first-hand what this work is all about. All the details are here if you want to find out more.

PPS. Want to keep reading? Click here for Part Two, check out Part Three right here, and complete the series with Part 4.

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13 Comments / Leave a Comment

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  • Krystal S November 16, 2017, 7:48 pm

    I’ve often been made to feel shame if I expressed much emotion especially if I’m treated wrongly or if I’m sad.
    This disconnect has gotten me into trouble at previous jobs and some social situations because too often I’d let people put words in my mouth to the point where I was known for the assumptions, stereotypes and rumors of mean or jealous people instead of the real me. Ive had to leave jobs and end friendships because I’d eventually reach a breaking point. I’ve gotten a bit better at speaking up when that’s done, but not without the fear of being labeled as “having an attitude” or being angry, which I’m really not! I’ve seen atrocities against women increase so much worldwide, it’s painful and sad! Bride stealing. Child brides. Women treated as property. Women and girls being chastised and ostracized for wanting an education or choosing a male-dominated career field. It’s unfair, cruel and needs to stop

  • Nicola Thompson October 31, 2017, 11:32 am

    My beautiful friend Irene reconnected with me a few weeks ago after over a year of not seeing each other. She led me to Regena and like you lovely ladies above, it has come at just the right time for me. I am struggling with negative feelings at the moment and feel like I don’t know what is wrong with me. I feel angry and tense all the time and just not quite good enough. I feel the disconnect from my feelings that Regena talks about in this week’s post. As a child I was loved but there was very little physical affection and an awful lot of criticism, from my mum and my sister. This has continued all my life, including from my first husband throughout our 21 years of marriage. I learnt that it was easier to just shut up and put up because I got sick of the criticism and being told to ‘get on with it’. I felt worthless and alone, even when surrounded by family. I echo a lot of what Mary has said and I feel stifled and flat. I am really keen to find myself again and live my life to the full and share our journeys with all of you

    • Irene October 31, 2017, 12:43 pm

      Nicola, I am so proud of you.
      You honestly won’t regret it for a nano second and I cannot wait to see and meet the real Nicola who emerges.
      Much love xxx

      • Zeslyn November 1, 2017, 11:08 am

        Thank you for this truth. I am broken on the inside. I have forgotten how to experience feelings. They buried so deep inside of me that I recognize them. On the outside, I seem strong, confident, independent, and courageous. This not how I feel at all. The people in my life see me as such so I can’t cry, yell, or scream. I have to suppress my true feelings so others are comfortable. I believed I could “fake it until I make it”. I was drowning. I friend told me to stop faking it because you will brake it. I finally sought out profession help. I am a work in progress to find my truth. Thank you.

  • Caryn October 26, 2017, 3:20 am

    Thank you to each and every one of you so willingly and honestly sharing in the comments!! My inability to suppress another thing due to 50 years worth of “garbage” being swallowed, pushed further down, to continually make more room for more “garbage”, has finally hit its overload point! I’m proud of myself for finally reaching out to get professional help in healing myself emotionally and physically. I’m utterly broken…To the outside world they see no such thing with me, I present myself as happy, strong, independent, creative, empathetic, motivated, loving, patient,calm, … Now I can no longer pretend all of those things, so I retreated from everyone and any thing. I retreated from feelings of shame, loneliness, anger, sadness, resentment, grief about so many people and things, fealings of worthlessness, and abandonment, just utter soul and heart breaking brokenness.
    I want to heal myself and show my 3 girls that what I was taught and told was not ok, I want to break free from what I know and learn to love myself, forgive myself, make myself a priority because I am worth it and deserve it! I want peace, love, and happiness. I hope one day it finds me💜

  • Pam October 25, 2017, 9:36 am

    I was raised with the belief that showing feelings was weak. Relationships are painful and you can’t trust anyone. I find myself being inauthentic trying to be this strong got it together woman when often the happy, loving little girl wants to come out to play. Struggle with a loving relationship because the belief that men fail. Want to tell people to back off but, that’s not nice. IT’S EXHAUSTING!!!!

    • April October 25, 2017, 3:12 pm

      I echo what Pam says completely. My Mom was an emotional wreck growing up and my Dad showed no emotion at all. I struggled with the two extremes and did not want to be either one. I think I am most like my Dad and have spent my life pushing down my emotions and feelings because I saw crying as weak. I always believed I had to be strong especially in a male dominated career. I also have a negative view of Men and do not trust them. I have been releasing a lot of emotion over the past few years. I have been broken up from life events. I have discovered that I can only push things down for so long before they start to erupt in the most inappropriate places. My depression got so bad from repressing my emotions that I knew I had to act or something bad would happen. I finally got the courage to leave my marriage of almost 9 years and move out with my 3 and 5 year old children. I still experience sadness and life has it’s ups and downs but my joy has returned and I am so grateful for that.

  • Michelle October 25, 2017, 5:10 am

    For me, too, this couldn’t have been more timely. I sense I’m going through a rupture of sorts – I’ve pushed off one shore but no other shore in sight – and I’m overcome with painful emotion. So reassuring to know it’s not only normal but valuable. Hard to see that when you work in the government and feelings seems totally inappropriate and out of place.

  • Mary Duncan October 24, 2017, 1:55 pm

    What a difficult question, Regena! So thorny. Requires some head work, which is familiar terrain for me, but after spending a week with you in Mexico and trying to get in touch with my body, I’m resisting doing the head work, but here goes:
    I think I’ve repressed expressing emotion since I was a baby. My mother said she spanked me for being “creative” (messy and exploratory) before I was even a year old. I learned that my Mom didn’t have much time for me what with the 5 other kids that followed my birth. My religion taught me to be patient with all people, and kind, and not to complain. I remember feeling embarrassed when I expressed feelings and was mocked or ignored. I learned to watch and listen rather than to play large. Toward the end of my 27 year marriage, my husband told me that I was pissed off all the time, and couldn’t I “just be nice”? So I tried that and found that I was stifling so many comments during his monologues, that I just stopped talking to him. During the few times I dared cry in front of him, I don’t remember being comforted. Rather, he let me know how uncomfortable that made him. Now at age 68 I’m still wary of expressing negative feelings. when they come up, I try to sit with them and let them pass. I detest male authority figures, but still give them deference. I detest close friends who try to fix me when I do express difficulty, fear or doubt. A few years ago, after my divorce, I found myself attracted to two different unavailable men who expressed some interest in me. I decided to wade into the waters a little and make myself more transparent. Neither of those men was ready or interested in pursuing a friendship with me.
    At the Creation Mexico retreat I found my self sick to my stomach during the flirting exercise on the last day. I guess that means I’m frightened to expose myself to any man as a woman who is turned on. I’ve learned to put the lampshade over my lamp, and go incognito. Needless to say, this pains me a lot, and has me wondering if I’ll ever get over it. One way connecting to my truth has helped me: when I discovered how judgmental towards my husband and son I had been, I decided to drop that attitude. My son now isn’t afraid to approach me, and I’ve been able to help him through some difficult times. For that I am grateful.
    Being a Creationista now is perhaps the hardest work I’ve ever done. It’s making me see myself differently. I like some of what I see, and am embarrassed by other things, especially my lack of desires in general. I feel like an uninitiated woman, eager but afraid of the path ahead. Bless you for shining the light!

    • Anonymous October 25, 2017, 9:41 am

      That was so honest and clear, I can relate to many of the beliefs you shared and also eager to shed them, take the lampshade off and shine!!!!! I trust that is also your intent!

  • Jessica Myers October 24, 2017, 11:31 am

    Dear Goddess. How does Mama Gena do it time and time again? Today’s post hit me square in the throat. I have been experiencing so much stagnant space recently, and much of it has to do with being on the precipice of a huge rupture….a rupture that finally cracks open this protective shell I’ve built for over 30 years to hide my true self, my voice, my opinions. I am forever indebted to the work Mama Gena has brought to me, and I desire to continue that work with her.

  • Danielle October 24, 2017, 11:29 am

    I don’t know how this ended up in my email but the timing is perfect. I am an emotional wreck today. I feel like I’m drowning in a never ending river with no boat, no float, trying to figure out how to tread water. No one’s in sight to throw me a lifesaver. Helpless and hopeless. Or, I’m in a very crowded room screaming to the top of my lungs but no one seems to hear me. I feel stressed and depressed. I don’t have anyone to talk to, no outlet our release point. I feel awful today. Mama Gena please continue to send these emails to my inbox. They make me feel like I’m not crazy or alone, that this is something that will get better with time.
    -the suppressed one

    • Jessica Myers October 24, 2017, 11:34 am

      Beautiful, courageous Suster Goddess Danielle – I see you. I am in a similar swamp and just said last week the exact comment about standing in a crowded room and no one is listening to me.
      I stand next to you in all the glorious power that comes to us while we are flailing in all this muck. Much love to you.